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The Stakes are Very High: Although commercial and civil aviation is "on the rebound," the outlook for defense aerospace is cloudy, according to Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO Marion Blakey. Addressing AFA’s Air and Space Conference last week, Blakey said since so much of the sector depends on military contracts, "a downturn in defense could pull down the whole industry." She added that, in the budget deliberations to come, "the stakes are very high" and nothing less than US leadership in aerospace is on the table. Blakey noted that the aerospace sector continues to offer the nation the highest trade surplus of any industry, at $56 billion last year, and is therefore a principal engine of the economy.